Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Peek at Billy

Since I picked the wrong day to travel, I've got to travel back tired-- 'cause after Chuck Berry shuts down The Pageant, I'm hoping to see Billy Peek finish his show somewhere across town.  Here's why.

Peek, of course, played on at least a couple of Chuck Berry records from the 1970s.  (If I remember right, "Bio" and "Rockit.")  He got lessons straight from the man himself.  Elsewhere on this site I quote book that quotes Peek telling how Chuck would lean over and say "This is how you play that one, Billy."  (Read it HERE).

(Some people earn all the luck.)

Recently I was watching Chuck's performances in Italy back in the 1980s and was admiring the guitarist who starts playing about 8 minutes in.  I figured it was a local.  Then Chuck announces: "All Right?!!  Billy Peek!  St. Louis, Missouri!"

Well-- see for yourselves (why I'm going to try to get across town late that night, or early that morning):


Peter said...

Hi Peter, nice text about Billy Peek.

In the late seventies/early eighties Billy and Jim Marsala toured
with Chuck as his regular band. I remember a concert in Eindhoven,
the Netherlands, in 1983 which I reviewed for a magazine. I wrote
that the guitarist (at that time unknown to me) played a lot better
than Chuck himself :-)

The next time I noticed Billy was when I saw the original
promotional video for Rod Stewart's "Hot Legs" (1978). There's an
instrumental break with a very Berry-like guitar solo in the second
half of the song. Looking at the video you see the guitarist
duckwalking across the railway tracks. And yes, this is Billy who
recorded and toured with Stewart during the late eighties. See for

Kind regards
Dietmar Rudolph

Peter said...

I think Chuck himself has said that Billy Peek plays Chuck Berry better than Chuck Berry. (Ah-- but I don't believe it!)

(Dominic, on the other hand...) :)